A nose job (technically called a rhinoplasty) is surgery on the nose to change its shape or improve its function.
Types of rhinoplasty include:
Removing a hump on the nose
Straightening the bridge
Reshaping the nose's tip
Increasing or decreasing the size of the nostrils
Correcting the nose after an injury
Opening breathing passages
Making the nose bigger or smaller
Nose jobs can be done to change how you look or for medical reasons. For example, some people may need surgery to repair a problem with the cartilage that divides one nostril from the other. Others may just want to make their nose smaller or change its shape.
Teens and Rhinoplasty
Teenagers should not have a nose job until the nose has reached its adult size. This usually happens about age 15 or 16 for girls, and a year or so later for boys.
Deciding on a Nose Job
Look for a surgeon who is experienced in plastic surgery of the nose and who has a reputation for patient satisfaction. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the most common body that certifies rhinoplasty surgeons.
It's best to have the procedure done in an accredited facility. If you have a complication, an experienced surgeon working with a well-trained team will be able to assess and correct the situation.
Set up a meeting to talk about your goals and tell the doctor what bothers you about your nose and how you would like to change it.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect nose. Surgery, though, can enhance facial features and emphasize your unique and natural beauty. A plastic surgeon can describe the facial features that make you unique and tell you how changes would enhance your appearance.
The surgeon will evaluate the structures of your nose and other facial features. After this evaluation, they can tell you if your expectations are realistic.
The surgeon will also consider your overall health and should discuss with you the risks, recovery time, and costs involved.
There are various techniques for reshaping the nose. Once you decide to go ahead, your surgeon should describe exactly what they propose to do.
If you have health insurance, make sure you talk to your insurer in advance so you know what's covered and what you will need to pay for. Health insurance typically does not pay for procedures that are done only for cosmetic reasons.
A nose job is usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. You'll get general or local anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you'll sleep through the operation. With local anesthesia, you will be sedated and your nose will be numbed so you are unable to feel the pain.
During an operation, the surgeon makes cuts within the nostrils. In more difficult cases, the surgeon may also make cuts across the base of the nose. The surgeon then reshapes the inner bone and cartilage to produce a more pleasing appearance.
Nose Job Recovery
After a nose job, people usually wear a nasal splint for the first week. You will need to keep your head elevated for at least 24 hours after the operation. You can expect swelling and some bruising around the eyes after surgery that will begin to improve after the third day. It can last up to 2 weeks.
Expect your nose to have a little swelling, which probably only you and your surgeon will notice. This will go away over the next 6 months. The final shape of your nose will be apparent after it has completely healed.
You should avoid strenuous activity for 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. You may return to your social activities as soon as within 2 to 3 weeks without any recognizable signs that you had a procedure done.
What Are the Risks of Rhinoplasty?
Any type of surgery has risks. These include bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia. Risks of rhinoplasty include:
Scarring at the base of the nose
Bursting of small blood vessels on the skin's surface
Permanent nerve damage
Need for a second or third operation